BURLINGTON, N.C. -- A Burlington boy nearly drowned at an apartment complex pool when he slipped underwater in the deep end.
“I had to save him. I had to. It wasn’t an option,” said Richard Green, a resident at Glennwood Apartments in Burlington.
Moments before that, Green’s mind was consumed with thoughts about not being able to pay this month’s rent.
Then he heard a cry for help.
“I’ve never seen a child that was just living and then not there,” Green said.
10-year-old Caleb Jones was underwater in the deep end of the apartment’s pool underwater. He did not know how to swim.
His aunt says she saw Jones in the shallow end and then minutes later the boy was underwater.
“All I remember is him being by my side. I don’t remember seeing him run or anything like that,” said Becca Deutsch, Caleb’s aunt.
She started CPR.
“Oh my god he’s black and blue. He’s not breathing and I’m terrified,” Deutsch said.
Then Green sprang into action using the same skills he learned more than 30 years ago.
“I used to think it was kind of useless learning it, but it’s good to have it,” Green said.
It was a traumatizing experience for everyone involved.
“I don’t remember everything. Like I remember what I’ve said, but like I was just scared because he’s my nephew and he’s like my own child,” Deutsch said.
“I was going to end up losing my baby. Because of everyone he is still here with us. He is breathing. He is healthy. His lungs are clear and he’s back to his happy smiling self,” said Heather McLain, Caleb’s mother.
“Thank you for saving my life,” said Jones to his heroes.
He has made a full recovery and will be taking swimming lessons.
Jones will have the chance to meet the heroes who saved his life and thank them in person Friday.